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Amex recently introduced the American Express® Business Gold Card, which effectively refreshes the card formerly known as the Business Gold Rewards card. This new card offers many great features, and it falls just below the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express in Amex’s lineup of small business credit and charge cards. Let’s take a look at these two premium small business cards, and see which one might be right for you.

Benefits Common to Both Cards

As premium travel rewards cards, both come with many of the same features, including:

  • Membership Rewards points earning — Membership Rewards points can be transferred to miles with 18 different airline programs or to points with three different hotel programs. Membership Rewards points are currently worth 2 cents each according to TPG’s latest monthly valuations.
  • Purchase protection — Your eligible purchases are covered against accidental damage or theft for 90 days (up to $1,000 per occurrence with the Business Gold Card, and $10,000 with the Business Platinum card).
  • Extended warranty — Your purchases receive two additional years of warranty service on purchases with warranties of 5 years or less.
  • Baggage insurance — Business Gold card holders will receive up to $500 worth of insurance for lost or delayed checked bags ($1,250 for carry-ons), while Business Platinum card holders will receive up to $2,000 for checked bags ($3,000 for carry-ons) when traveling on any common carrier such as aircraft, trains, ships or buses.
  • The Hotel Collection — Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection.
  • Premium roadside assistance — This benefit will dispatch and pay for emergency automotive services up to four times per year, including changing a flat tire, jump-starting a battery and towing your car up to 10 miles.
  • Account manager — While most credit cards only allow the primary card holder to make inquiries or changes to the account, this service lets you easily designate employees or other individuals who can manage your account with either full or limited access, making it easier to delegate tasks like reviewing statements, adding authorized users, making payments and disputing charges.
  • ReceiptMatch — This tool allows you to manage expenses from either your desktop or mobile device by entering receipts, tagging transactions and adding notes to your statements. You can also sync this data with QuickBooks.
  • Employee card features — To help you earn rewards from your employees’ spending while mitigating the risk of fraudulent transactions, Amex small business cards allow you to limit the purchases of authorized cardholders and set real-time alerts.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Metal card — Both the new Business Gold and the Business Platinum now feature heavy, metal cards.
  • Charge card — These are actually charge cards instead of credit cards, meaning that you’re expected to pay each month’s statement balance in full, but you also have no preset spending limit. However, you can opt in to Amex’s Pay Over Time feature that allows you to extend payment on certain purchases.

The New Business Gold Card from American Express 

Earn 4x points on two of six categories including airfare (to the Maldives, perhaps) with the Business Gold Card.

Current Welcome Bonus

Instead of Membership Rewards as a welcome bonus, this card currently offers statement credits for the following business services purchased within your first 12 months of card membership:

  • Up to one year of free of Google’s G Suite Basic for up to three users
  • Up to one year of ZipRecruiter Standard

These two offers have a combined value of up to $3,188. You may be able to get a 50,000-point welcome bonus through a referral link instead (subject to change at anytime).

Rewards

Earn 4x points on your first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year (then 1x) from two of the following six categories:

  • US purchases at restaurants (which is new to the refreshed version of this card)
  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • US purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • US gas stations (not including supermarkets or warehouse stores)
  • US shipping
  • US purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions

You earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases, with no limits.

Benefits

  • 25% Pay with Points Rebate — You’ll get 25% of your points back when you redeem points at Amex Travel to pay for first or business-class airfare on any airline, or economy-class tickets with an airline you can select each year. Award flights booked this way are treated as revenue tickets, so you’ll earn both redeemable miles and elite credit on them.
  • Pay Over Time — Business Gold card members are automatically enrolled in the Pay Over Time program, which offers an extended payment option for purchases over $100. Therefore, this card is somewhat of a hybrid between a credit card and a charge card, which requires you to pay off your balance in full each month.

Annual fee: $295

Authorized user details: There is no fee to add up to 99 additional authorized employee card holders.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Entrance area to the Centurion Lounge in Houston
Amex Business Platinum can make your layovers that much more luxurious with access to Centurion lounges like this one in Houston.

Current Welcome Bonus

Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points; earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership and an additional 25,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 within the first three months.

Rewards 

Earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases, and:

  • 1.5x points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com.
  • Terms Apply

Benefits

Annual fee: $450

Authorized user details: Additional card holders cost $300 each, and receive lounge access, another Global Entry credit, an additional 10 GoGo passes and status with SPG, Avis, National and Hertz. There’s a $45 annual fee for each employee who receives a Gold card as an authorized user, and no charge for additional Green card users. Note that all employee cards will earn points at the same rate of the primary cardholder, only the cardholder benefits will differ for Gold or Green card holders.

Which Card Should You Get?

Amex American Express Business Platinum Credit Card
Amex American Express Business Platinum Credit Card

The Business Platinum Card’s $450 annual fee can seem intimidating, compared to the Business Gold Card, but the gap has now been narrowed to just $155. For that additional annual cost, you receive the Business Platinum card’s $200 annual airline fee credit, more than erasing the difference between it and the Business Gold Card. When you add the $100 Global Entry fee credit (which you can use toward your own membership or toward someone else’s application), you’re looking at $300 of direct savings during your first year in return for spending $155 more than the Business Gold card’s annual fee.

Other valuable benefits exclusive to the Business Platinum card include the Boingo and Gogo Wi-Fi access and this card’s extensive lounge access. This should offer more than enough value to justify the Business Platinum card’s annual fee before you begin to consider the hotel and rental car elite status and the numerous other benefits it offers.

The Case for the Business Gold Card

Would I always recommend the Business Platinum card over the new Business Gold Card? Of course not. The Business Platinum card offers excellent perks, but if you’re not likely to make use of all those benefits, then the Business Gold Card is worth a closer look — and it can offer superior earning potential.

For example, if you already have a Priority Pass Select membership with another card, the Business Platinum card mostly just adds Centurion Lounge and Delta Sky Club lounge access. But you may not often visit airports with Centurion lounges, and if you don’t fly Delta you can’t use the Sky Club.

As for the fee credits, there are plenty of business travelers who never check a bag or need to purchase inflight food or entertainment, although change fees can be unavoidable. (However, there are other ways to use the fee credits). Also, most savvy business travelers already have Global Entry, so the application fee credit isn’t good for much other than a gift for someone else.

Another huge potential benefit is the Business Gold card’s free year of G Suite and ZipRecruiter. If these are services that your business would have purchased, than your saving can be in the thousands of dollars.

But perhaps the best case to be made for the Business Gold Card over the Business Platinum Card is with the opportunities for earning bonus points. There are plenty of small business owners who can make use of the 4x bonus categories, and the $150,000 annual cap (of combined purchases) is very generous. If you get anywhere close to maximizing those bonuses, the value of the points you earn will dwarf the Business Gold card’s $295 annual fee.

Bottom Line

Depending on the size and nature of your business, you might even consider getting both cards: Carry the Business Gold when you can maximize the 4x spending categories, and keep a Business Platinum to enjoy benefits like Centurion Lounge access, 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare, hotel and rental car elite status and the 35% rebate on points redeemed for airfare through Amex Travel. By examining your business needs, you can choose the best combination of cards to maximize your award travel possibilities.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Get up to 1 year free of G Suite Basic (for up to 3 users) and up to 1 year of ZipRecruiter Standard

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • More Rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month †
  • †4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*
  • Airline Bonus: Get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
  • Exclusive Offers: Get up to 1 year free on subscriptions to both G Suite Basic for up to 3 users and ZipRecruiter Standard, a combined value up to $3,188.*
  • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.*
  • Expense Management Tools: Connect to Quickbooks, access SpendManager℠, receive a Year-End Summary, and more.*
  • Add Employee Cards with a no annual fee option. Earn rewards on employee purchases and track employee expenses with spending limits, alerts, and summary reports.*
  • *Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$295
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.